Each year the STAAR tests are offered online as well as paper-based. STAAR online tests are identical to the print tests, however, the online tests have a variety of embedded supports to help eligible students access the content being tested.
Getting your students ready for the test is a critical part of making sure they’re successful. Here are the steps you can take to get your students ready.
Step One: Use the STAAR Online Features & Supports Checklist
It’s important to explicitly teach students how to use the features and supports available on the STAAR online assessment. This checklist breaks down the general navigation tools, accessibility features, and designated supports so you can target your students’ practice time and track their progress toward proficiency.
You can also use it to keep track of student preferences, like speed of the text-to-speech and background color. In addition to helping students, the checklist is a great tool for parents to learn about the assessment. Parents can download the Testing Platform to their home computer and practice with their child.
Step Two: Try out the STAAR Online Tutorials
These tutorials are the next step to getting your students to learn more about the online testing environment. They teach your students to navigate through the test, respond to questions, and access the available tools. Additionally, short videos illustrate how to use the various features and tools and are available for various grades/subjects and courses.
Step Three: Complete a STAAR Online Practice Test
Practice tests are a critical way to get your students familiar with the online test platform.
These practice tests are released STAAR test forms that have been previously administered. These tests provide students with an opportunity to interact with the test interface, respond to questions, and locate and use available tools. Practice tests are available for various grades/subjects and courses as well.
Step Four: Download the STAAR Online Testing Platform
The Testing Platform operates through a secure browser that must be installed on a desktop or tablet in order to access the tutorials and practices tests.
After you’ve done all that, checkout the The Educator Guide to Accessibility within the STAAR Program, which provides information about the features and supports that make the STAAR accessible to all students. The guide also includes specific examples of the features and supports offered on STAAR online.
Gretchen Kehrberg is a Special Education Specialist at Region 13. In addition to her experience at the Education Service Center Region 13, she has ten years of teaching experience. Gretchen is passionate about education and working with teachers to create inclusive learning environments where all students have the opportunity to grow academically, socially, and emotionally.